From my Hart: 40-Hour Work Week

For the entirety of my career, there has been an undercurrent of communication on the topic of the 40-hour work week. I’ve had four jobs since graduation and each tackled the 40-hour work week differently.

First job:

Here there was no overtime & I was hourly; we had to manipulate our hours so that we didn’t go over the 40-hour work week, which was both a blessing and a curse. With constant events at varying times, my hours were long and often kept me away from normal weekends.

Second job:

No overtime once again, however I was switched to salary! The office closed every Friday at noon. We were still paid, and accrued PTO based on a 40-hour work week. At first, I was curious how this would work since everyone else we dealt with, the government and other businesses, did not follow this schedule.

It went so smoothly! We were more productive during the week as to meet this Friday by noon “deadline” and were never met by any opposition, only jealousy, from the groups and businesses we worked with.

Not to mention we were able to accomplish so much more in our personal lives and hardly ever had to miss work Monday-Thursday for personal appointments. We gave it our all Monday-Thursday and Friday until noon, and were able to enjoy our little extended weekends.

Third job:

This company was a very unhealthy place for me. It started out as the golden opportunity, but I quickly learned this to be a “front.” Not only was the pay, environment, morals, and daily tasks, not as advertised, the work schedule was not either.

I was told that you could come and go as you please- but this only held true if you were one of the two owners. The other employees, myself and one other person, were to be on call at all times, with no guarantee of work. So, while this company pitched a great work schedule, it- like so many other aspects- did not pan out.

Current job:

I am officially a year into working at my current company however on day one I was asked what hours I wanted to work. Shocked doesn’t begin to cover it haha.

What’s interesting, and nice, is if the job gets done, they don’t care what hours you make that happen in. For me, I started as an hourly employee working 32 hours a week and worked my schedule depending on other appointments, etc. throughout the week! If I had a doctor’s appointment on a Wednesday at 2 p.m., I could work longer on Monday perhaps, to offset the time away for the appointment. This also allowed me to nanny a few times during the week.

I quickly learned the ropes and moved into 40 hours each week. I’ve decided to work 8-4 to beat traffic on Monday-Friday. However, this week (thanks time change) I’ve been in the office earlier and earlier each day and choose to shave time off of my Friday so I can get to my weekend sooner.

For a more direct representation: I’ve worked a variation of times between 7 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday and will be off work at 2 p.m. on Friday.

Most of my coworkers work remotely on Friday’s and some other’s work 2 to 3 days remotely as well. Some managers will even tell their employees to sign off and enjoy the weekend early… just because.

Co-Worker chat:

Throughout my career, as I said earlier, there has always been an undercurrent of chatter regarding the 40-hour work week. Below, I’ve outlined the most recent chat I’ve had.

A few of my co-workers, past and present, don’t feel that a 40-hour work week is necessary! Additionally, the pull to work remotely has affected this decision. By cutting the work week down, and allowing employees to work remote, this forces stronger communication between employees.

How you ask? Think back to a time when a co-worker of yours was going to go out on vacation. You knew you couldn’t stroll into their office at any time and ask a bunch of questions. The time you had with them became more precious and you kept the conversation concise, I would assume.

We become happier. Think about how happy you are walking into a three-day weekend. Memorial Day perhaps! You are more rested, accomplish more at home and enjoy your time. Just like a much-needed vacation.

If this was every week, not only would you maximize the time spent working, but I believe you would maximize the free time away from work!

So what are your thoughts?

Do you work a variation of 40 hours a week? Does your company take a page from a few European companies I’ve read about, and pair 40 hours down to 32-35 each week? What are your thoughts? What’s your dream? I’m eager to hear as we step into the weekend- don’t forget to make it a good one & enjoy!

 

The feature image can be found here

From my Hart: The Fun Committee

Work life balance, or lack there of, is something I see so many people struggle with. Heck, it’s something I struggle with! What helps the most is when your employer finds this to be important as well.

There is even a statistic that states “58 per cent of those who had not experienced workplace fun had been off sick for 11 or more days…” Onrec further states that office fun alleviates stress and boosts performance and productivity!

My work allows us to work from home when we can and we also have a fun committee at work, which helps with making work a bit more fun! I’ve put together some of our fun committee ideas that I think would be fun for you to try and suggest.

Office supplied lunches / breakfasts

My office has a budget they allot per month to spend on foods for us to cook with, order meals with, etc. They also don’t hesitate to supply us with lunch or a breakfast too just because.

What I’m really looking forward to is a Halloween Feast that we are having at the end of the month. The office is supplying the BOOze, while employees are encouraged to bring monstrous main course, scary sides & devilish desserts to share. This is possible because we have a full kitchen, but getting Panera or doughnuts once a month is simple and effective!

Themed days

We had a cabin fever day this past February. The entire office wass encouraged to wear slippers, pajamas and BYOB (bring your own blanket)! Think of themed days like spirit days in high school: you could do team days, wacky tacky days, or any other fun themed day to get the office involved.

Holiday Parties

We had a St. Partick’s Day party in March. Everyone brings a dish, and we all gather to enjoy the day! We also host a summer party with all of our families and a Holiday Party at the end of the year with our significant others.

You could make up a holiday, or celebrate everyone’s birthday on one day.

Office Outings

Have the office go out and play a round of mini golf or go bowling. Even taking a nice trip to the trail on a summer day is a great idea.What’s important is that you bring your employees together to enjoy being a human- not a work machine. When employees build bonds with one another, they are more willing to help each other out, and enjoy staying with their current employer. At least, that’s how I feel!

I hope you bring up the idea of a fun committee at your office! It’s so great to celebrate holidays, and even life events! My office thew me a surprise engagement party brunch & gave my fiance and I a lovely house warming gift.

Start small, birthday cards are a great way to show others you care. You don’t have to bring the puppies in for a visit, though I highly encourage it, to make a big impact in the work environment. Give the fun committee a try!

From my Hart: Fun & Functional

Did you know I can be a bit of a nerd? Well, now you do!

Nothing gets me more jazzed than a new planner or calendar! I’ve got my planner, which is my trusty go-to. I keep important personal events, as well as daily work duties in there. Without my planner, I’d be lost. I also add the personal items from my planner to my home calendar. Unfortunately, this year the calendar I purchased, didn’t allow me to write on it in the way I would have liked.

Thankfully, while picking out a planner for my boyfriend this weekend, I found some stickers that I could not pass up! These would allow me to mark the dates on our home calendar without scribbling pen all over the place.

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The link to buy your own pack of these is right here! I particularly loved the variety and the consistency of the stickers. There were a ton of stickers I would use monthly, instead of just a few. As an example, lets take a look at how I’ve used them.

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Just as a small example, here is what was left of May when I bought there. I love the script font for holidays. The “later” tabs, which could be used for tasks, I have adapted to mark the Thursdays in which my fiance works late!

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Here is a more packed month! I’ve chosen to use the cupcakes to denote birthdays- the hot dog is to show that we are going to a ball game! Additionally, I’ve noted the holidays, anniversaries and special occasions- like my cousins graduation & a bachelorette weekend!

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In addition to more holidays, there are also doctors appointment reminders! It’s not the prettiest idea I’ve had, but I used that big ol’ “work” note is used to denote when my boyfriend will work on his usual day off. That big heart is to show that we have a wedding for one of my dear friends!

I love this sticker pack! I’ve added some of the other stickers to my personal planner, like the hydration tracker! Further, I’ve used the “what’s for dinner” notes to help keep us on tract for the nights we cook for the family!

There are also little motivational stickers I put at the beginning of each week & I’ve use the fancy bullets to help keep my tasks tidy and pretty.

It’s sure not as “OCD” as I would like it, but hey- I’m learning to let go. 🙂 I think this is a great compromise, and super easy addition to keep us on track! If you love being quirky and organized, I suggest you add these stickers to your life!

From my Hart: Ice Cream Sundae Bar & Idea!

Hey y’all… it’s a bonus blog day!

Last Thursday at work we hosted an Ice Cream Sundae Bar and it was a huge hit! I’m so excited so share with you an idea I had that I’m going to jump right in!

Caramel and Hot Fudge: Solved

You know how when you have hot fudge or caramel sauce, you have to keep reheating it because it gets so chunky as it cools? Well do I have a solution for you- fulled by my own brain and not Pinterest for once!

A CROCK POT!

Y’all I put water in the crock pot- turned it on, sat the jars of caramel sauce and a jars of hot fudge into the water & they stayed perfectly drizzly the entire time! People were so impressed, I was impressed, and now I’m telling you because I think I’m a genius!

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Fun Committee

If you don’t have a fun committee at work, I highly suggest you start one. We hosted this event for $57 flat. It really is the little things that help bring people together & create a sense of community.

Start small with birthday cards- have everyone sign it and get some cupcakes for the birthday girl / boy. Maybe get pizza on a Friday for everyone or donuts one morning. Have fun with it! The options are endless & makes work more fun!

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From my Hart: Anxiety and Positivity

You guys…. how come no one warned me to slow down and not grow up?

Oh…. yeah, okay I guess quite a few people did. But why didn’t I listen?! Don’t get me wrong, it’s fun, but man is it also really taxing on my anxiety.

After a real conversation Sunday night about buying a house, and pouring over our excel spreadsheets (which are insanely helpful to keep each of our income vs bills each month in line, as well as to show us how we would fair buying a house), I went to bed exhausted.

Jokes on me because I did not sleep! When I’m really anxious over something, I do this awful thing where I dream that I am doing whatever stressed me out. When I used to work as a waitress, I would wake up in the middle of the night thinking I had missed a table. Sunday night, I woke up thinking I was working in our excel sheets.

When I was able to get back to bed, between tossing and turning and these awful stress-dreams, I was having freaky dreams about some of my deepest fears. I woke up before my alarm because I was afraid I was going to miss it, and the day only threw more crap at me.

The Monday-est Monday

I forgot it was PJ day at work until I was less than a minute away from the office.

I forgot to bring in my pajama donations for Casey Cares also.

The Panera was closed and I had to drive there and back to the office twice to get our order, which I placed in advance last week.

Our Tax lady was overwhelmed and I sat on her floor for three hours preparing documents.

I played phone tag with two very important companies all day.

I then spent an hour in the post office after I had gotten off work to make sure all the documents were sent correctly.

I had sass and bull crap throw at me.

And I handled it all with grace. Pure, smile on my face, it really didn’t bother me like I expected, GRACE!

How?!

The Grace of God. I woke up and prayed, asked God to take it away, to help me through everything, and to have a great day.

I grabbed my essential oils, covered myself in them, and got down to business! The above items were a nuance, but no reason to ruin my day! I’m alive, healthy, functioning, capable, and deserved to have a good day!

It is 100% a mental exercise. Did I want to be rude back to people, of course. Did I want to huff and puff at the post office, sure… but those workers had been dealing with last minute tax people all day anyway.

In conclusion 🙂

What you put out in the world will come back to you my friends! Do a quick mental scan. Are you mostly negative (either out loud or mentally to yourself) and do you experience negativity regularly? YES

I know because I’ve been there! I’ve super malleable, and negativity gets me down and I can get out. So I cut out that negative, and negative people, and I spew kindness like the common cold.

Give Kindness & Get Kindness

Be Positive & Get Positivity

You will have to continually work at it, and some days you will fail, but you will be so better for it- I promise.

From my Hart: Spreading Kindness

Hey y’all! I initially posted this to LinkedIn, but thought I could really expand on it here. Since my boyfriend and I started reading #31CreativeWays, From my Hart: 31 Creative Ways Review, I’ve really been more intentional with everyone in my life. That includes my co-workers.

How so? Here’s an example using Valentine’s Day:

It took 30 minutes for our digital marketing manager to create these cards. Only one hour to write 3 things we like about each employee to put on the cards. 10 minutes to stuff mugs with Hershey kisses. Hardly any time at all to hand these out & make peoples day.

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Kendall has a gift y’all… HOW CUTE ARE THESE!?

I’ve been reading a lot of statistics lately that not only do employees feel more valued, but they also are more productive and take less sick time when an employer gives a little recognition & adds some fun to the office. It’s doesn’t have to be a grand gesture… but I promise the results will be.

People in the office are still commenting on how much they loved the cards and candy. I’ve noticed everyone still has their card on display at their desk, and even though the mugs were ones we had in house, the gesture went far beyond what we expected.

Kindness is simple

Making someone’s day does not have to be a grand gesture. It could be something as simple as letting someone in front of you while driving, or holding the door open for someone. Take a few seconds to send a text to someone in your life, letting them know you love them and are proud of them… or whatever you feel moved to say!

Lending an ear, or helping someone who is busy while you have some down time, are all great examples of simple ways to show kindness too. I’ll let you in on a little secret too, spreading kindness makes you feel really good too!

To my readers & followers

I’m so thankful for y’all! You’ve taken the time out of your day, to hear what I have to say, and that is magic! Because of you, I have this wonderful opportunity to do what I love- writing- and that means the world to me. THANK YOU!

Let’s take this FriYAY and spread some kindness around! Have a great weekend you awesome person you.